The Grey Rangers of Barak enter the ruins of a dwarven clanhome, trying to find a way back to Barak. Behind them a force of Kal-A-Nar and Childer troops thirst for their blood, ahead of them a glooming darkness that thirsts for their souls…
After Action Report:
Grey Lantern Report: Barak, 30th of Red Wolf, 3122, Montar Reporting
25 or so children and they had to bring them into the depths of an abandoned dwarven clanhome that contained who knows what horrors! That everyone survived is a testament to either the superior skill and bravery of the Rangers, or sheer luck. From what I’ve seen of these Rangers so far, I wouldn’t bet against the former.
After hastily erecting a loose barricade of rocks and boulders designed to slow down the Kal troops and Childer at their backs, the small group cautiously made their way into the clanhome proper.
What I know of Clan Hearthblade and their abandoned home is not much, but rumors speak of a prideful clan chieftain and his desire for riches and fame. The dwarves of Hearthblade found a small supply of White Silver and thought that it’s presence meant there was a motherlode somewhere nearby. In their attempts to find the precious ore they disturbed something they shouldn’t have. No one knows exactly what they found or exactly what happened, but darkness and corruption followed and soon no one heard from Clan Hearthblade again.
The group travelled a long while in the darkness before finally coming into the clanhome proper. They saw a gigantic cavern that had been formed into a deep hole, a spiralling staircase descending down through the levels. A series of ropes and pulleys was also evident, baskets attached to the ropes, used to transport materials and people quickly from level to level. The first level was filled with warehouses and other large rooms used for the day-to-day dealings of the clanhome. Of note were the ornate decorations carved into the walls and staircase, a sure sign that the clan chieftain was very concerned with keeping up appearances.
As the group travelled further the signs of age and disuse became more evident; cracked floors and walls, rotting furniture, crumbling crates, etc. The darkness was also heavy, an almost physical presence that the light of torches barely cut through.
About halfway between the first and second levels they began to find a glowing, geenish substance seeping throughout the walls of the clanhome. The substance looked almost alive, pulsing and twisting as it coursed through the walls. After some discussion, Cassiel stepped forward and examined the substance. A moment after he touched it, he gasped in pain and fell to the floor. Blood trickled from the corners of his eyes and his ears and he could only say that there was a sense of nature corrupted that he’d never heard of before.
After making sure that Cassiel was in no immediate danger they continued onwards. The signs of ruin became stronger the further they travelled and the ornateness was not as evident, almost as if the clan had begun to run out of money. The sense of unease also grew stronger as the greenish substance became more prevalent in the walls.
As they reached the second floor they sensed a presence amongst them; a shadowy shape that could be heard giggling and moving around in the chambers they were passing. As they stopped and listened, Ailirria felt something poke her in the back and when she turned around there was an odd-looking dwarf standing before her.
The Rangers, after some conversation, found out that standing before them was a Builder named Tick-Tock. It was very obvious that Tick-Tock was not in his right mind. He spoke of wanting to keep a couple of children for company, and to eat! Angus was able to speak with odd fellow and convince him that the Rangers were friends and that Tick-Tock should go play his game of “Blind Man’s Death” with the Kal and Childer troops that were up above. Before he left Tick-Tock promised to answer one question for his new friends. The group asked Tick-Tock where the back gate to the clanhome was and Tick-Tock actually gave them an honest answer.
Shaking their heads in wonderment at the strange encounter they just had the group continued onwards, following the directions that their newfound “friend” had given them. A greater sense of urgency overtook the group as the darkness swelled around them. The greenish substance seemed to grow in strength as it pulsed from the walls, it’s sickness seeping out like tendrils of disease to touch members of the band. Ailirria began to bleed from the eyes as the sickness overtook her. Some of the children began to grow ill as well.
Sounds of movement began to be heard from the dark corners of the clanhome, as if the “visitors” had awakened something that had laid dormant for years. Finally spying the tunnel that led to the back gate the brave band moved quickly forward.
Bursting into the tunnel they were met by an awful sight; groups of undead, both skeletons and zombies shuffled forward under the command of a dark-robed figure who stood at the far end of the hallway between the group and the safety they sought. Two chains extended from the floor, the green substance flowing over them and into the gate in an attempt to fully seal it and prevent escape.
The Grey Rangers of Barak immediately lept into combat, knowing that they had very little time to gain their escape. Angus, as has become his heroic signature, strode forward to engage as many opponents as he could, his axe sweeping a path as it slice through bone and rotting tissue. Cassiel’s hands wove deadly arcs as light burst from them, incinerating the undead. Ailirria’s bow sang as she released arrow after arrow in deadly, precise fashion against her opponents.
Time was running out on the heroes, a gigantic bone golem had formed behind them, the gate was quickly shutting, and the weary Rangers had just about expended all of their energy. At this point, the young girl, Illendra, stepped forward and somehow transferred some of her essence into Cassiel giving him the opportunity to finally blast the two chains that were being used to shut the gate. Heartened that escape was in their grasp the Ranger pressed forward agains the robed figure. Cassiel’s bolts and Ailirria’s arrows finally won the day as the robed figure was forced to retreat. At the same moment, Angus was able to single-handedly bring down the Bone Golem (or so I’m told).
Angus opened the wound on his hand and used his blood to open the gate and the group fled to safety, not even glancing back once as the exit slammed shut.
3 experience points were awarded for this adventure.
Tick-Tock: A demented Builder that the Rangers met in the ruined halls of the dwarven clanhome. He considers the Rangers his “friends” even though they did not stay around to play Blind Man’s Death with him.